Wednesday, 24 May 2023


 Date fished 24/05/2023

12.50 until 16.35

The lighter evenings are perfect for a few after work hours. Driving to Tilcon takes 11 minutes from the office, so it makes sense to combine the two. "If I have to go in the office, I will fish" - something like that. I pity the person that line manages me!! 

I am off to Dorset with the kids for half term, so thought I would get an extra trip in, I am also thinking of going early (5am) on Saturday too, we will see and I will let you know! Is kinda hard to say no when the weather is playing ball. 

I was preparing before the trip and I noted this is my 274th blog entry, maybe I should of kept that for the 300th, but I looked now. Maybe I will remember for the 300th too, do something special!?

Just the float rod this time, with stronger line. As much as I am not after the carp, I dont like them always smashing me up, lets get one on the bank!

Lots of bites but no fish hooked. Was nice to sit and contemplate stuff on the bank for a few hours. 

Saturday, 20 May 2023

Workin' 9 to 5

Date fished 20/05/2023
Fished 5am until 10am and work party until 2pm

A 4am alarm woke me up, it must be nearly summer time! I tumbled out of bed and stumbled to the kitchen.
Getting in the car, it said 4 degrees, maybe not quite summer. The mist rose off the lake as I parked up. I wanted to fish a particular swim and at 5am with two cars in the car park, I felt lucky. Of course the two anglers were in that swim, I settled for my second choice. 

As usual bream were the target. It never goes to plan and the first bite was a lovely tench. Still not even 6am. I had the float rod with sweetcorn on the hook and also the feeder rod with pellets or corn, depending. I fished with both rods at first, but the constant knocks and bites meant I could only concentrate on one. I opted to float fish. 

Watching the float as the mist rose was awesome.  It was a bit chilly but the flask of coffee soon warmed me up. I wanted a good picture of the lake but I didn't have my filmographer with me and thought my phone would not do it justice. I fished on and soon it was a bite a chuck. 

Fishing the float is such a nice way to catch, nice and calm. The float buried and the rod was pulled around. The drag spun as the fish was now heading towards Newcastle City centre! My tackle was not suited to carp, so as predicted, it "smashed me up!" Proper style, nothing came back. It is a hard balance using beefy tackle to bully the carp away from the weedy areas, but when you are catching small silvers "most" of the time, I don't need the sea rod and rope style line just yet! 
It's enough to drive you crazy, if you let it! 

I now just had the feeder rod, so carried on fishing with that. The sun was coming through now and I took the wellies off to warm up my feet. This distraction didn't worry the fish and several more tench on the feeder graced my mat. 

Still wanting to float fish, I tackled that back up and cast in. The float was away again, another train heading to the far side of the lake. I played this carp a little longer but again its strength and ability to get to the weeds proving too strong for my 3lb hook link. You think you will land them, they let you dream, just watch 'em shatter!

I was surprised to hook carp because as far I could see and hear, they were busy in the reeds "getting it on." A heron watching over them, surely they are too big for its lunch?! Although I did see the heron at 5am having a large silver fish for breakfast, I thought they targeted smaller fish!? Says the zoologist!? 

The carp left me alone and I enjoyed some fish in the float. 

It was soon 10am, work party time. I swapped the rods for a spade and set about relocating some Iris to the silt trap area. The rest of the crew were in the same boat with a lot of your friends, waitin' for the day you ship'll come in and repaired some swim platforms on both sides of the lake. 

These photos make it look easy, but these civil service hands are not used to manual work. Three hours of digging and about 15 plants moved, including the big one that required wheels!

Am home now, jump in the shower, and the blood starts pumpin'.
It was a great morning, fishing and some manual labour. Unlike Dolly though, I don't agree that .....
"For service and devotion, you would think that I would deserve a fat promotion!"

(Did you spot the other lyrics?) 

Monday, 1 May 2023

A perfect blank

Date fished 1st May 
7.30am until 1.15pm

I have been to Dorset alot this year as Davey was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in mid December. We have rallied together and done our best, chemo number six tomorrow Dad. See you soon x 

I sent Tom ahead to Tilcon to bait up for bream. He has been catching a good few recently, me not so much. I arrived 30 mins after Tom, there was a good few anglers on the lake but I spotted him straight away. He picked a perfect swim, made more perfect when he scooted over a metre and I joined him in his! It was like sharing a sleeping bag!! 

I fished corn under the float, Tom had method feeders with pellets. I think they might of been "marine halibut", I might need to double check. 

We chatted about schools, rugby, our kids, holidays, fishing, cancer, social media, politics, hooking ducks (non eupho) and alot of other nonsense. 
The fishing was secondary today, we chat in pubs over a beer but the chat on the bank is much more relaxing, well to me it is. 

The sun came out and some clothes came off. Both of us Southern softies had thermals of some description on under our layers! It was also a woolly hat for me and I needed to borrow Tom's sunglasses just to keep watch of my float. 

We were soon interrupted by the softest of low volume bite alarms as Tom's right hand rod went about three times. "That's a fish" I hinted as Tom did the business. 

We chatted some more and I had a bite. The hook came back minus the corn, so am counting that as a bite!! 
Tom soon left as we had put the world to rights. I ate my lunch and squinted in the sun. The black clouds came over and I no longer regretted not having my sun glasses. A few spots of rain, then a few more. Within two minutes it was torrential and I laughed at the "fair weather anglers" comment I had made earlier! 

I packed up, drenched to the bone and headed to the car. 

Friday, 7 April 2023

Spot the difference

Date fished 7/4/2023
7.30 am until 2pm

More of the same at Tilcon today. Looking at the match results from Sunday, 19lb won it. Been a while since I caught more than 19lb in a session. 
I have been thinking of bringing the kitchen scales so I can weigh some of the smaller fish for some time, but always forgotten. I don't know how much they weigh, the fish not the scales!! Today was the day I found out....

I had dead maggots, worms and sweetcorn along with the float rod. I caught on all three, but the better stamp (accurate, because I know) came to sweetcorn. 

Not wanting my blogs to be the same, I wont give a blow by blow account of todays trip, I will just highlight the differences, and provide you with some (small) weights!

3.7 oz

4.3 oz

5.0 oz

7.5 oz

4.6 oz

3.6 oz

So, what did I learn? 
Pretty much that my general estimates are "accurate", but as with bigger fish its quite hard to be spot on. 
I would like to do this again and catch some of the micro perch, as I am sure they weigh next to nothing! 
Secondly, I learnt that I won't be entering any matches soon! I watched a host of much better than I (match) anglers today fishing the pole. They smashed it, really good fishing. But I enjoyed myself, and incidentally there were no differences worth highlighting! 

Saturday, 1 April 2023


Date fished 1/4/2023
8.15 until 14.45

A day after my birthday and I decided to brave the rain. Fuelled by child made Choc mint cream cake for breakfast, I was up early and ready to hit the bank. I wanted to float fish, there will be plenty of ledgering time on this lake soon, so I thought I would start with float watching. 

Arriving at the lake, I went and chatted with the angler already fishing. He was actually just leaving, having just popped down for a short session before work. That's the way, I thought! 
We had a good chat. Introductions were short as Phillip said " I know who you are!" 
Fortunately this was followed by "I read all your blogs!" 
Phew! I thought, my reputation preceeds me, but only with McDonald's eating apparently! 

I jumped in the vacant swim, already pre baited and set up. 

The drizzle was annoying. That fine stuff, that looks OK but gets you absolutely drenched. Anyway, under the brolly I was mostly dry, so I fished on. It wasn't long before bites came. A few small perch and some very welcome gudgeon. 

The wind was calm and the lake was like glass. 

There is something about watching the float, and soon I was happy. Thoughts were gone and I was hypnotised by the orange blob. 

A change from dead maggot to sweetcorn brought an immediate bite. This was a different culprit. Am gonna say Ide. But if I am wrong, that's OK. 

The carp were crashing around in the reeds  opposite, they will soon be thinking about spawning. The bites kept coming and sweetcorn brought a better stamp of fish. 

Four good fish soon followed and I was probably on double figures. It didn't matter, no one was counting. 

Not sure if I have fished on April fools day before. I don't claim to be a fool or a prankster. But my experience of April fools day is as follows: 
For years my sister got me with the same prank. She would tell me there was a parcel for me. Having had a birthday the day before, this was quite likely. So, off I would go to see my parcel, only to be greeted with sweet fanny Adams! 

It's because of this, I didn't try to claim I caught this mud pig....

Saturday, 4 March 2023

Last chance saloon

Date fished 4/3/2023

8am until 3pm

The river season is slowly drifting away, and with little fishing time available this year I think today was going to be my last of this river season. I needed to visit the tackle shop to renew club membership, so one stone, two birds.....

I had enjoyed the last trip on the Tees, so decided more of the same for today. Maggot feeders added to last sessions kit for good measure!

Today I fished in peg 127. I had the car park and much of the river to myself. It was cold but wrapped up in the thermals and I was feeling confident. I set up and got fishing. 

I started with maggots on the hook and groundbait in the feeder. The rod was motionless and I thought about the phrase " a bite a chuck". I wondered how I could change my current biteless chucks into the well known phrase. Bites =chucks. The only way I could square this equation was to have have fewer chucks!! Then Bites (zero) would equal chucks!! Hahah. I fished on. 

After trying worm and every maggot colour and breathing status (I had alive and dead) on the hook, I eventually changed the feeder to a maggot feeder. It felt very old school fishing like this, but it did the trick. Two chucks equalled two bites and one roach. I still fished on and when Bites dried up, I had another theory. I put dry groundbait in the feeder with the maggots. This did another good trick and bites came thick and fast. It really was a bite a chuck for an hour. 

The wind got colder and the rain came with it. The hood went up and the trick stopped working.  Again, I didn't rest on my laurels, I made some changes and the groundbait feeder seemed to work again. It seemed today's trick was to just keep changing. Groundbait today had added brown crumb, another new trick!

A good few fish came to the net and then this. I am not sure if it is a bleak or a dace. If its a bleak, it is my first so that equals a pb!! Am really not sure. Maybe with all the tricks going on, I invented a new species!? 

With still only swans and ducks for company, it was soon cold enough to head home. The drip on the end of my nose was falling off and I wanted to be home before it froze. I will leave you with that thought.... 

See you in the "closed season", and rivers, I will see you mid June. 

Sunday, 19 February 2023


Date fished 19/2/2023
8.30 am until 2.30 pm

Today I fished peg 125 at Bowesfield on the Tees. Parking up, the carpark was full of cars. There was a match on, but plenty of spare pegs, so I found one and fished. Let's  see if I can write this blog with the numbers:

Rod, a ledger, with my usual set up and a feeder.
Fish caught, a small skimmer. 
Keepnet, glad I didn't bother to use it! 
Happy angler to be back on the bank.

Pound perch caught in the swim to my left. I saw the angler catch it as I was walking past, this was what made me fish in the swim nextdoor. 
Feeders lost in snags. 
Items of bait, dead maggots and groundbait. 
Wayward casts but all the others, clipped up and on the spot. 
Specialist items of clothing (snood not counted) needed although the coat was off most of the session. 

Red maggots on the hook. So often they were sucked dry and the rod didn't even move! I didn't drop down to using one as it would of buggered up the blog! 

Pound bream caught in the swim to my right. 
Degrees on the car thermometer  between arriving and leaving (4-9) although out of the sun it felt quite chilly. 
Hours fished (was 6 but poetic licence!). 
Million bites but I just could not connect. There were periods of no bites but long periods of constant taps. 
New friends made, there were anglers all around, so I chatted to a few on and off. 
Canoes going up and down, up and down. But they didn't spoil the view.